Boris Johnson flies back into political whirlwind: what could happen as MPs take control of Brexit?

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Boris Johnson arrived back into the heart of a political maelstrom today as Parliament resumes following the humiliating bombshell Supreme Court judgement.

He touched down in the UK shortly before the Commons reopened, having cut short his trip to the UN in case the opposition immediately began to move against him.

However, it seems that after the protracted court battle to get prorogation scrapped, MPs may arrive back in order to do not very much, at least in the short term. But the Prime Minister faces a difficult few weeks ahead before the current Brexit deadline. 

We take a look at what could happen in the next few weeks:

What will happen this week now that Parliament has resumed? 

Boris Johnson (pictured arriving in Downing Street today) is expected to address MPs after his lightening dash back from the UN in New York

Boris Johnson (pictured arriving in Downing Street today) is expected to address MPs after his lightening dash back from the UN in New York

Boris Johnson (pictured arriving in Downing Street today) is expected to address MPs after his lightening dash back from the UN in New York

Protsters outside Parliament this morning. The Commons sits at 11.30 to kick off what is likely to be two days of attacks on Boris Johnson, both verbally and political

Protsters outside Parliament this morning. The Commons sits at 11.30 to kick off what is likely to be two days of attacks on Boris Johnson, both verbally and political

Protsters outside Parliament this morning. The Commons sits at 11.30 to kick off what is likely to be two days of attacks on Boris Johnson, both verbally and political

The Commons sits at 11.30 to kick off what is likely to be two days of attacks on Boris Johnson, both verbally and political.

Speaker John Bercow’s announcement yesterday that Parliament would reopen today took politicians by surprise, with many struggling to get back to Westminster from abroad.

Because of prorogation the order paper for today contains little or nothing of note, due to a lack of time to arrange it. 

What today does is give MPs a blank political canvas on which to paint attacks on the PM and demand information from ministers on a whole range of subjects.

After widespread calls for his resignation from Jeremy Corbyn and other opponents yesterday we can expect more of the same today from the green benches.

And with anger among MPs at the role played by No 10 adviser Dominic Cummings in the prorogation debacle, the backroom fixer could be on the receiving end of a few barbs from the Tory benches. 

Boris Johnson is expected to address MPs after his lightening dash back from the UN in New York. 

Thursday could see more concrete action taken, once rebel MPs have had time to plot.  Ideas floating about include using emergency debate powers to seize control of the order paper, or use a ‘humble address’ to force the Government to release more Brexit documents.

They could also make moves to find Mr Johnson in contempt of Parliament. Without a majority the PM can in effect do very little to stop them.

Will the PM now face a vote of no confidence? 

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured on stage in Brighton at Labour conference immediately after the Supreme Court ruling, said Mr Johnson must now 'consider his position'

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured on stage in Brighton at Labour conference immediately after the Supreme Court ruling, said Mr Johnson must now 'consider his position'

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured on stage in Brighton at Labour conference immediately after the Supreme Court ruling, said Mr Johnson must now ‘consider his position’

Such a vote, which could bring down the Government, seems unlikely to be held immediately.    

The responsibility for seeking a vote of no confidence rests with Mr Corbyn as the leader of the opposition, and he has said it will not happen until after the ‘threat of No Deal is taken off the table’. 

That date that could be as late as October 19, when under the Benn Bill passed by MPs at the start of the month, Mr Johnson would be forced to ask for a three-month Brexit extension from EU leaders at the European Council if he has not got a Brexit deal by then. 

The reason is that they want a No Deal Brexit to be ruled out before they push for a vote. A No Confidence vote it could lead to a general election, which sees parliament shut down for five weeks of campaigning, meaning there would be a risk of an accidental hard Brexit if it was triggered too early.

Mr Corbyn said today: ‘Until it is very clear that the application will be made, per the legislation, to the EU to extend our membership to at least January, then we will continue pushing for that (blocking No Deal) and that is our priority,’ said Mr Corbyn.

He added: ‘When that has been achieved we will then be ready with a motion of no confidence.’

Could a vote of no confidence succeed? 

Mr Johnson met with Donald Trump in New York before flying home early as chaos unfolded at home

Mr Johnson met with Donald Trump in New York before flying home early as chaos unfolded at home

Mr Johnson met with Donald Trump in New York before flying home early as chaos unfolded at home

The vote would almost certainly be tight. Mr Johnson would expect to count on the support of the overwhelming majority of Tory MPs although today’s Supreme Court ruling could make some think long and hard about backing the PM. 

Mr Johnson would also likely be supported by a number of Labour Brexit-backing MPs as well as the DUP.  

On the other side, if Mr Corbyn was to launch a push to get rid of Mr Johnson he would likely only do so if he believed all the other opposition parties were on board. 

Lib Dem sources have suggested they could now back a vote of no confidence while the SNP would leap at any opportunity to boot out Mr Johnson. 

The parliamentary arithmetic means that the result could ultimately come down to how a group of 21 Tory rebels who were stripped of the whip by the PM after backing the anti-No Deal law would vote. 

If they decided to vote with the opposition Mr Johnson could be in big trouble. 

What else could MPs do if they don’t try to oust the PM? 

Trying to get rid of the PM would be a nuclear option for MPs and it would also add more uncertainty to an already volatile situation. 

As a result it is thought MPs could instead keep the option of a vote in their back pockets and instead use parliamentary time to go on the attack over Brexit. 

Some MPs are reportedly planning to try to force the government to publish its prorogation legal advice from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox in full.

The Remain-backing MPs know they have a majority in the Commons and could also try to reinforce the recently passed anti-No Deal law to make it ‘bullet proof’ amid suggestions the PM could try to ignore it.

Supporters of a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ will be considering whether they could use the shifting balance of power in Westminster to secure their goal.

Labour currently supports a second referendum, but only after an election. 

Action could be taken against Mr Johnson over his illegal advice to the Queen, with the possibility of contempt proceedings. Theoretically this could include stripping him of his salary – or even imprisoning him at Parliament, although the latter seems very unlikely. 

It has also been suggested that MPs could put Theresa May’s deal back on the table, but try to attach a ‘confirmatory vote’ or second referendum. 

They could also possibly try to dictate the negotiating strategy of the government, by passing laws instructing them to seek certain terms.  

Will we have a general election? 

The ruling represents a major set back for Mr Johnson, pictured in New York today, who is now facing calls to resign. He said he believes the court made the wrong decision

The ruling represents a major set back for Mr Johnson, pictured in New York today, who is now facing calls to resign. He said he believes the court made the wrong decision

The ruling represents a major set back for Mr Johnson, pictured in New York today, who is now facing calls to resign. He said he believes the court made the wrong decision

The PM has cut short his trip to New York, and is set to renew his call for a general election to break the Brexit deadlock.

He wants to have one as soon as possible and has tried to call one twice, using the Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA), but was voted down by the opposition.

They know they hold the trump card, just as they do on the No Confidence vote, and will strike when it decides the time is right. 

Despite spending months demanding a general election Mr Corbyn will delay until a No Deal Brexit is ruled out before acquiescing. 

It means the election everyone knows is coming is unlikely to be before November or December, with some in Labour suggesting they could hold off until the spring.

Is the Conservative Party Conference still going to happen at the weekend? 

John Bercow, pictured in Westminster today, responded to the Supreme Court's ruling by saying MPs will return to work in Parliament tomorrow morning

John Bercow, pictured in Westminster today, responded to the Supreme Court's ruling by saying MPs will return to work in Parliament tomorrow morning

John Bercow, pictured in Westminster today, responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling by saying MPs will return to work in Parliament tomorrow morning

At the moment the conference which is due to start in Manchester on Sunday is going ahead as planned. 

But in normal times there is a conference recess that covers all the party events. Because of prorogation MPs did not approve the usual temporary shut down.

It seems unlikely that they will vote this week to shut themselves down after such a huge effort to reopen the Commons. 

It would provide a irritation for Boris Johnson, as his customary leader’s speech on Wednesday would clash with Prime Minister’s Questions.

And if they decided to cancel the event it would cost the party and businesses seeking to use it for convivial lobbying millions of pounds spend on marketing, hotel rooms and other expenditure. 

Could Boris Johnson try to prorogue Parliament again?

Yes. The PM hinted that he could do so when he responded to the Supreme Court ruling. 

When the PM first suspended Parliament he did so with the argument that he needed time to prepare a Queen’s Speech in which his new government would set out its domestic legislative plans. 

That speech had been scheduled to take place on October 14 but today’s ruling puts that date in doubt.

Mr Johnson has said the government will likely try again to bring forward a Queen’s Speech but it is not immediately clear whether the PM will try to stick to the old date.  

He said the Supreme Court ruling did not ‘exclude the possibility of having a Queen’s Speech’ in the near future.

Lady Hale said that a ‘normal period necessary to prepare for the Queen’s Speech is four to six days’. 

That suggests Mr Johnson could try to prorogue Parliament in the first week of October in order to keep to his previous timetable.

Convention dictates that Parliament must be prorogued – and the parliamentary session formally brought to a close – before a Queen’s Speech can take place to kick off a new session.

There have been rumours swirling in Whitehall in recent days that if the court ruled prorogation was unlawful Mr Johnson could try to prorogue Parliament again but potentially for a much shorter period.

It now appears Mr Johnson is considering such a move but it would be incredibly controversial and spark fury among MPs who are likely to resist any attempt to shut down Parliament for a second time. 

Link hienalouca.com

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